McIntosh hits ton as Kiwis take control on Day-1

Chayan Rastogi/Zeecric Bureau

Hyderabad: Tim McIntosh, who got out for duck in both innings of the first Test, justified his selection in New Zealand batting XI with a gritty hundred to give New Zealand a steady ground to post big first innings total in hot and humid conditions here on the first day of the second Test match on Friday.

Zaheer Khan tried to bring India back in the last session of the day, picking up Taylor and centurion McIntosh, but Jesse Ryder and Gareth Hopkins held on their nerves to make it a complete New Zealand day.

Winning the toss and choosing to bat first at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium, New Zealand batsmen adopted slow and cautious approach to post 258 runs for the loss of 4 wickets at stumps and made Indian bowlers work hard to take wickets for all three sessions.

McIntosh’s knock is the first hundred by a New Zealand opener on foreign soil in the last six years. He got off the mark with a boundary through cover and produced 10 delectable shots along the ground and a lofted six over the region between long-on and deep midwicket.

During his stay at the wicket, the 30-year-old was involved in two important partnerships. Recalled in the Test squad for BJ Watling, Martin Guptill made an attacking 85 to share an excellent 147-run partnership with McIntosh and took New Zealand past 150 runs but was trapped leg-before of the bowling of Pragyan Ojha.

Before getting out, Guptill scored nine boundaries and a towering six of the bowling of Harbhajan Singh to counter attack Indian bowlers who looked intimidating in the first session on a green top.

After Guptill’s dismissal, Ross Taylor came to the crease and stitched 55-run partnership for third wicket but just when Taylor seemed threatening with quick boundaries, Zaheer Khan induced an edge and sent him back to the pavilion.

Earlier, New Zealand made the most of their good fortune- surviving a testing spell of fine swing bowling by Sreesanth- at the first session of the opening day of second Test match here as they went for lunch at 75 runs for the loss of only one wicket.

New Zealand suffered an early blow when opener Brendon McCullum (4) was caught-behind of a beautiful out-swinger by Sreesanth.

The second-wicket partnership between Tim McIntosh and Martin Guptill survived many close chances including Guptill’s dismissal on a no-ball, a dropped catch by MS Dhoni of Harbhajan Singh, and several edges falling short of gully and point.

India has not made any changes to their playing XI and has fielded the same squad for the match, while New Zealand has made three changes in their team.

Paceman Brent Arnel replaced Hamish Bennett, Tim Southee came in for spinner Jeetan Patel while Martin Guptill replaced BJ Watling.

New Zealand (Playing XI): Brendon McCullum, Tim McIntosh, Martin Guptill, Ross Taylor, Jesse Ryder, Kane Williamson, Daniel Vettori(c), Gareth Hopkins(w), Brent Arnel, Chris Martin, Tim Southee.

India (Playing XI): Virender Sehwag, Gautam Gambhir, Rahul Dravid, Sachin Tendulkar, VVS Laxman, Suresh Raina, MS Dhoni(w/c), Harbhajan Singh, Zaheer Khan, Pragyan Ojha, S Sreesanth.

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